Monday, August 19, 2019

The Power Struggle in Vladimir Nabokovs Lolita :: Nabokov Lolita Essays

The Power Struggle in Lolita      Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚   According to literary theories and the theories of Fredrich Nietzsche, human beings have an unquenchable urge for power and will use "ethics," and everything else, in order to increase their authority. In Nabokov's Lolita, we see how Humbert controls Lolita in the beginning stages of their relationship but eventually finds himself going mad because of her deceitful ways and the control she has over his sexual desires.      Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚   The novel introduces HumbertHumbert, a man with charm and the dignity of being a teacher in Paris. Yet, we instantly find he is a sexually disturbed man, lusting for young, prepubescent girls. His perversions are obvious--we can tell from his journal--and the ideas are highly obsessive with the topic of young girls. His mind is always on his first true love, his young Annabel, who died a short time after his first sexual encounter with her. Humbert says, "I see Annabel in such general terms as: 'honey-colored skin,' 'thin arms,' 'brown bobbed hair,' 'long lashes,' 'big bright mouth' (11). This, in fact, becomes his outline for a nymphet, or a girl between the ages of 9 and 14. One who meets his strict criteria is to become a gem in his eyes, yet treated with the same objectivity as a whore. He considers them all sexual objects for his enjoyment because he is a man who wishes to dominate these girls at such a young age.      Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚   Using Nietzsche's theories on power and dominance over others, we can see that Humbert is a man who meets his criterion of someone driven on obtaining the control and respect of those who can be easily manipulated. In a theory entitled "The Superman," he writes:      Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚   The strong man must rid himself of all idea that it is disgraceful to yield to his acute and ever-present yearning for still more strength. There must be an abandonment of the old slave-morality and a transvaluation of moral values. The will to power must be emancipated from the bonds of that system of ethics which brands it with infamy. (Mencken 105)      Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚   Nietzsche sees someone with total power as one with no regard for anyone other than himself.

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